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Joedy Mae B.


Environmental Issues in the Philippines

The Philippines is a very beautiful country but we cannot deny the fact that it is prone to
natural disasters such as typhoons, landslides, tsunamis, storm surges, volcanic eruptions,
earthquakes and the like, as our country lies along the Pacific Ring of fire. Technically, it is
beyond our will for these natural phenomena to happen, but we unconsciously or consciously
contribute to different environmental issues that worsens its effects.

As our country progresses, our environment is also compromised. The smokes emitted by the
factories and vehicles, the trees cut down for infrastructures and all other human-caused
environmental degradation; as we tolerate these activities as part of our countrys progress and
development, we also tend to neglect and ignore its environmental effects.

Today, our country is facing many environmental issues such as global warming, increasing
pollution, uncontrolled deforestation, overpopulation (depletion abuse and of natural resources),
improper solid and toxic waste disposal. We can notice that all of these problems are caused by
human activities.

Global warming is an increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely
predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution.
Global warming is the top-on-the-list environmental problem worldwide. The combustion of
fuels and burning catalyze the global warming. The Philippines, being a small country has
already been experiencing its effects: stronger typhoons, bigger tsunamis, extremely hot
summers and very rainy seasons.

Increasing pollution on air, land and water is also abundant in our environment. We pollute
the air through burning fossils and garbages, emitting smokes from small cigarettes, vehicles and
then larger factories. The land is polluted through chemical fertilizers and disposal of harmful
wastes onto the land. By simply throwing our wastes and toxic wastes onto the bodies of water,
we catalyze the pollution of the water. Pollution has been an issue until now and lack of
discipline and concern for the nature is a reason.

Long ago, we were in abundance of trees, trees that provide water reservoir ad fresh air, and
now only portions were left due to urbanization and deforestation. Over the course of the 20th
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century the forest cover of the Philippines dropped from 70 percent down to 20 percent. In total,
46 species are endangered, and 4 were already eradicated completely. 3.2 percent of total
rainforest has been left. Based on an analysis of land use pattern maps and a road map an
estimated 9.8 million ha of forests were lost in the Philippines from 1934 to 1988. Every day,
lots of trees are cut down and forests are levelled to make way for constructions of buildings and
furniture. We cannot stop the logging but at least we need to control it and be knowledgeable
about how important trees are. Another issue is the mining, mining companies have already
extracted tons and tons of mineral resource and also involves deforestation in their operations.
The aftermath is that the area where they conducted mining, experiences water and soil
contamination which is another issue.

Another massive environmental issue in our country is the improper disposal of solid and
toxic wastes. As we walk around the cities, it is sad to see people throwing garbage on the streets
or on the bridge whenever they want to, factories with their toxic wastes pipes leading to the
rivers, garbages being dumped to the sea. Almost every day we accumulate tons of garbages (in
Metro Manila alone, an estimate of 8,000 tons of solid waste are generated daily) and the
problem on disposal arouses. The waterways are clogged and contaminated, and as a result we
can get infected and catch diseases.

The last and the top environmental issue in our country is the overpopulation.It is accurate to
say that overpopulation is the main reason of the depletion of natural resources. With a very big
population, there is a bigger need for source of the basic necessities like food, water, and shelter.
The need for shelter means another establishment to be built (deforestation and logging). There
could also be scarcity of food and water due to limited supply (vegetation and aquatic/land
animals). The need also for electricity and other fuel-burning facilities increases greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere. In short, due to overpopulation, there will be greater demand and with
limited resources, the natural resources are compromised and sadly we disregard the fact that
future generations also need these resources to survive.

As a Filipino citizen, and a student, it is really saddening to see how our country is facing
these long list of environmental issues. But then, I should not lose hope, for there are lots of
actions to take. Government are already initiating solutions and projects to slowly but surely
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eradicating the environmental issues. As a student, I can help by simply joining tree planting
programs, coastal clean up, 3Rs program, or I could make use of the social media to disseminate
information and to encourage everyone about eradicating environmental issues.

Again, as a Filipino, I encourage everyone to be concern about the environment, for it is us

who benefits from it and in return we should provide care and attention for what is our
stewardship all about if we continue to abuse and misuse our environment.